Chennai Buzz: New lockdown guidelines|New Airport terminal progress|GCC completes SWD project

WEEKLY NEWS ROUND-UP FROM CHENNAI

Chennai International Airport. Pic: Wikipedia (Tamil)/ CC BY-SA 3.0

COVID-19: Work to set-up largest COVID care centre on, Multistorey buildings in T Nagar to remain shut, autos continue to ply in the city

The state government today extended the lockdown with significant relaxations till June 30. According to the new guidelines, public transportation is not allowed to resume services in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur and Chengalpattu as the number of cases is increasing every day. Check the detailed guidelines below.

New guidelines issued by the Tamil Nadu government for lockdown. Graphic: Aruna Natarajan

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On May 29, Tamil Nadu recorded 856 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total to 21,184, according to the state health bulletin. 616 of the fresh cases were reported in Chennai. There are 6,489 active cases in Chennai; 7,289 patients have recovered, while 113 succumbed to the disease. According to reports, at least 30 inmates of the Puzhal prison in Chennai have contracted the virus.

Zone-wise break-up of COVID-19 cases in Chennai as on 31 May. Pic: GCC/Twitter

In a bid to improve the state’s preparedness to combat the pandemic, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has begun work to set-up the city’s largest COVID-19 care centre (CCC) in Kesava Pillai Park, Pulianthope. According to officials, the centre can house upto 1,728 patients at a time. GCC has installed 10,057 beds in the CCCs so far in the city and about 28 private premises and 19 government buildings were converted to cater to the COVID needs.

After three Southern Railways (SR) employees tested positive for the virus, SR shut down its headquarters and the Chennai Divisional Railway Manager (DRM)’s office in Park Town. According to the officials, one of them was operating the special Shramik trains and was regularly going to work. 

On inspecting T Nagar, the civic body has passed orders for immediate closure of multistoried shops in T Nagar area indefinitely until further notice. Officials state that physical distancing norms were violated by shop-keepers and the public and the shopkeepers failed to provide sanitisers.

The death of a senior nurse, who was on duty at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, has sparked off a fresh debate. According to her family, the 58-year-old nurse was admitted at the hospital’s COVID-suspected ward on May 24th and the case sheet stated that she had contracted the virus. The hospital Dean Dr R Jayanthi said the matron tested negative twice. The doctor said the case sheet entry could have been a mistake and added that she died due to co-morbidities. Hospital authorities say she was not on COVID duty but was posted on duty at the matron’s office. A special team has been constituted to probe the case.

In the past week, two COVID-19 patients have committed suicide at the government hospitals in Chennai. Reports state that one of the patients was depressed and a case has been filed to conduct investigations.

Even as the city continues to remain the hotspot of COVID-19, several hairdressers are covertly offering services to residents at their doorsteps. According to the report, many barbershops operate late night and services are strictly by appointment. In places like Mandaveli and Ice House, the shops have a two-hour window. Meanwhile, the police department states that they have sealed a number of shops for violating the rules. However, they add that the department cannot have do anything if they offer door-step services.

While Chennai continues to be locked down, many auto drivers continue to operate in Chennai and the suburbs. According to the relaxed lockdown norms, autos can ferry one passenger, the driver and passenger ought to wear a face mask and the vehicle should be sanitised thrice a day. While this is applicable to the rest of the districts in the state, it is not permitted in Chennai. According to police records, 15 autos have been booked for violating the norms.

Source: The Hindu | The News Minute | The New Indian Express | The Times of India

Baggage disinfected at Chennai Airport; new integrated terminal work resumed

As the domestic flight services resumed in Chennai, the baggage of around 2,500 passengers were disinfected. According to the authorities, when baggage is dropped in the in-line scanner for checking, a staff sprays disinfectant over it every time. Following the procedure, the baggage is sent to the aircraft for loading. Similarly, once the baggage is unloaded on arrival, it is once again disinfected before it reaches the conveyor belt.

Meanwhile, the work of the new integrated airport terminal in Chennai resumed amid the lockdown. According to airport authorities, glass panels have been reinstalled on the building’s facade and the workers are engaged in dismantling the old airport and fabrication work. 

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

GCC completes SWD project in city 

With the density of vehicles on roads considerably less during the lockdown, GCC has completed the work on the storm-water drain (SWD) network along Velachery Main Road to address the water stagnation issues in this busy stretch. 

Similarly, water stagnation near IIT Madras’ Velachery gate is also a severe problem. A drain in two sections – one flowing into the Dhandeeswarar temple pond and the other, into the Raj Bhavan canal, which drains into the Velachery lake — was proposed to solve the problem. According to the official, under the Chennai Mega City Development Mission, the two projects were completed at a cost of Rs 80 lakh.

Source: The Hindu

Libraries in city gear up to preserve books

As lockdown restrictions are eased, libraries in Chennai now have to take utmost care to preserve their premises and the books from cobwebs and dust. Connemara Library’s Librarian M Ganesan stated that a vacuum cleaner cannot be used to clean the dust and cobwebs accumulated over the books as they are delicate. The pest-control drive just before the lockdown would hopefully have lessened the burden. The library staff were also visiting from time to time to see if the books are safe and intact.

Likewise, a few members of the Madras Literary Society (MLS) in Nungambakkam have been visiting the premises once a week to check the books and to water the plants. According to architect and secretary of the library, Thirupurasundari Sevvel, MLS is an example of library architecture that has double-layer windows, lime plaster-finish and Madras terrace-roof that helps in preserving the books from dust and extreme climatic conditions.

Source: The Hindu

Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar


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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.